Fall is here. The leaves have turned brilliant shades of red and gold. Pumpkins and scarecrows add to the seasonal bliss in our homes and on our porches. But, the best part of this season? The opportunity to feast on hearty meals while bonding with our loved ones. This Thanksgiving, get ready to prep, cook, and dine with ease using our stress-free Thanksgiving dinner planning tips!
The key to stress-free Thanksgiving dinner planning is to plan, plan, plan! Using our tips, you’ll be the most poised and put-together hostess on the block on Thanksgiving day.
Get ready to present a wow-worthy Thanksgiving dinner table to your nearest and dearest. Up next, learn the most critical steps to leave the stress behind this Thanksgiving.
- Use a Timeline
- Equip Your Kitchen Now
- Make Dishes Ahead of Thanksgiving Day
- Focus On Side Dishes
- Prepare Your Table Setting
1. Use a Timeline
The saving grace of your stress-free Thanksgiving will be using a timeline. This thing of beauty will also serve as your ultimate Thanksgiving to-do list. When it comes to hosting holiday get-togethers, the more organization, the better!
Whether you put it in your planner, a notebook, or a spreadsheet, make your timeline work for you. Your Thanksgiving timeline will serve as a guide and reminder so you can check items off the list as time passes.
For example, two weeks out, you should have a finalized guest list, the recipes you’ll use for the big day, and all the necessary culinary equipment and decor. One day out, your timeline should dictate the sides you’ll bake. With this list, you’ll be at peace knowing you’re taking care of your Thanksgiving meal one step at a time.
To make your life even easier, we’ve created a done-for-you Thanksgiving timeline in our November edition of HOST magazine. You can read more about it below!
2. Equip Your Kitchen Now
Roasting pans, carving knives, and thermometers are turkey-cooking essentials you may have yet to own. Pay a visit to the kitchen equipment aisle as soon as possible and gather all the cooking and baking supplies you’ll need for your Thanksgiving day recipes.
Knowing you have all the necessary cooking utensils and supplies ahead of time gives you peace of mind. You’ll avoid last-minute shopping runs and spend more time enjoying the prepping process with your family.
Also, use this time to clean and declutter your kitchen space. Having sparkling countertops as a workspace is the perfect foundation for crafting delectable five-star Thanksgiving dishes. Whether you’re cooking by yourself or with your family, this vital step will help!
3. Make Dishes Before Thanksgiving Day
So, your kitchen is fully equipped. Your ingredients are in the fridge. And, it’s finally Thanksgiving Eve. What else can you do to make tomorrow as easy as pumpkin pie?
How To Pre-Bake Dishes For Stress-Free Thanksgiving Dinner Planning
Remember, stress-free Thanksgiving dinner planning is all about planning ahead. So, on Thanksgiving Eve, plan ahead by baking anything that you can easily warm up on Thanksgiving.
For instance, you can prepare casseroles or pies the day before. Also, prep, peel, or chop any ingredients you can to save time on the big day.
On that note, take care to leave time to reheat these dishes on Thanksgiving. Real estate in the oven may be limited, so plan carefully. Don’t sweat it; your thoughtful planning will make it easy!
4. Focus On Side Dishes
Your turkey will undoubtedly be a brilliant, wow-worthy centerpiece to your Thanksgiving meal. But be sure to give extra love and pizazz to your side dishes! Thoughtfully planning and preparing scrumptious five-star sides will bring your meal to the next level.
To bring the WOW factor to your dining table, set out any or all of these eloquent and delicious side dishes:
- Potato and Parsnip Gratin with Thyme & Gruyere cheese
- Green Bean Casserole, Mushrooms & Crispy Shallots
- Roasted Cauliflower Gratin, Buttered Panko & Citrus Herb Gremolata
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Onions
- Buttermilk Biscuits with Honey Butter
You can’t go wrong with these tasty sides! Planning for side dishes ahead of time is a breeze. Just ensure you have the ingredients ready. Remember, sides such as casseroles and stuffing can easily be prepared the day before and reheated on Thanksgiving.
5. Prepare Your Table Setting
With all of this delicious food in the works, you didn’t forget the table setting, did you? If so, that’s okay! That’s why we’re here.
First, take a deep breath. Every host can create an exquisite, warm, and welcoming Thanksgiving dinner table with a bit of inspiration and planning.
Next, envision and gather decor for your dining table as soon as possible. Plan out the little details, from which plate sets you’ll use to which linens and candles you’ll display. Simple elegance is an excellent and stress-free decoration style.
Try not to overthink it. Use neutral bases and warm tones with your table decor. If you love having fresh flowers on the table, note it in your timeline so you don’t forget!
Stress-Free Thanksgiving Dinner Planning: Get the Rest in HOST Magazine
In a nutshell, stress-free Thanksgiving dinner planning comes down to using a timeline, equipping your kitchen, prepping dishes and baking sides the day before, and pre-setting your table.
Now, I’m sure you’re feeling more comfortable and confident to pull off your most graceful and flawless Thanksgiving yet. However, we have even more pointers and inspiration to help you this Thanksgiving. We want you to feel completely ready to rock and roll on Thanksgiving and beyond!
For our complete done-for-you Thanksgiving prep timeline and even more Thanksgiving preparation tips, subscribe to HOST magazine. You may feel like you need a little guidance and inspiration to give your home gatherings that wow factor, and that’s exactly what you’ll get. Before long, effortlessly hosting will be your second nature!